Tuesday, 24 April 2012
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim
Wisteria and Sunshine - who could resist?
review by Maryom
Enticed by the promise of wisteria and sunshine, four ladies leave cold, wet London for a month at the castle of San Salvatore in Italy. They each have something that in their individual ways, they're running away from. Both Lottie and Rose are trapped in unhappy marriages; Mrs Fisher believes that nothing is quite as it was in 'the good old days' and Lady Caroline is trying to escape the hectic rounds and demands of Society. In the glorious, almost heavenly, surroundings of San Salvatore they 'find themselves' - for want of a better expression.
This is an oldish favourite of mine that I originally discovered through the 1992 film, starring Miranda Richardson and Josie Lawrence, and that I was prompted into re-reading by a blog post at Iris on Books about another of von Arnim's novels, The Solitary Summer
A lot of readers might dismiss it as lacking in action or too touchy-feely for their liking, but The Enchanted April is a book that never fails to work its magic on me. Starting in a dark, damp London February and moving to the heat and light of an Italian April, this is the perfect novel for Spring reading. The reader, too, can leave behind doom, gloom and persistent rain and bask in glorious sunshine.
Something more that appeals to me, as a gardener, is the gorgeous, luxuriant garden surrounding the castle where Spring and Summer flowers all bloom together in a mad rush, cascading down the hillside - one day I'll have one just like it!
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Virago
Genre - Adult Fiction, Literary
Buy The Enchanted April (Virago Modern Classics) from Amazon
Other reviews; Dusty Old Books